It sounds so absurd it hardly seems worth entertaining. But it seemed just as unlikely for diesel-powered prototype-class race cars to dominate at Le Mans until Audi did just that. Now Peugeot is following suit with its own high-tech, state-of-the-art diesel race car, the 908 LM, which the French company hopes can do for them what the R10 did for Audi. With over 700 horsepower from an all-aluminum 5.5-liter twelve-cylinder common-rail direct-injection twin-turbo diesel (try saying that three times fast), the sleek cat just might.
Marc Gené came to a different conclusion after driving the 908 for the first time, though: "Having driven the Peugeot, I think that diesel is a feasible route for F1 in the future." Gené is joining the Peugeot team at Le Mans right after he re-signed as a test driver for Scuderia Ferrari, but with a limit on testing imposed by the FIA, he has a little more time on his hands.
Diesels still bear a certain lethargic stigma, but with modern diesel technology seemingly getting closer to gasoline engines with every passing day, some see it as only a matter of time. It would take a massive change in regulation by the FIA, but it would certainly make previous rule-changes like the abolishment of turbos and the switch to V8s seem like mere footnotes in motorsport history.